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  • Public has spoken on alfresco drinking and dining

    01 November 2013

    Following a strong response to its campaign on smoke-free alfresco drinking and dining, Cancer Council SA is ready to pass on the thousands of postcards addressed to the Premier that have been returned from concerned South Australian residents.

    In July, Cancer Council SA launched its ‘Clear the Air’ campaign calling for a state-wide ban on smoking in all alfresco drinking and dining areas.

    Residents living near busy alfresco locations along the metropolitan coastline, around The Parade, Rundle Street, North Adelaide and Victor Harbor, received postcards in the mail which they were asked to complete and return to Premier Jay Weatherill with a very clear message that the time had come to protect workers and patrons from the dangers of second hand smoke by banning smoking in alfresco drinking and dining areas.

    Thousands of these postcards calling for smoke-free alfresco drinking and dining have now been signed and returned, along with online responses and tear our slips as made available in The Advertiser.

    The distribution of the postcards to the Premier coincides with the deadline (Friday 1 November) for submissions to the State Government’s Smoke-Free Outdoor Commercial Eating and Drinking discussion paper as released in August.

    Cancer Council SA Chief Executive, Professor Brenda Wilson, said that we know second-hand cigarette smoke contributes to death, disease and disability.

    “We are delighted with the response we have received from people right across the State,” Professor Wilson said.

    “The strong response is a clear message to the Premier that it is no longer acceptable to be one of only two states which hasn’t acted to protect the community against the dangers of second hand smoke.

    “In 2010, 90.3% of South Australians agreed that smoking should be restricted in outdoor dining areas and 74.6% agreed that smoking should be restricted in beer gardens and outdoor seating in pubs. These people have now put their name to that message and are sending it directly to the Premier.

    “This government made a commitment to the South Australian people that it would ban smoking in alfresco drinking and dining areas, we are now calling on the Premier and the Health Minister to keep that promise and take decisive action and regulate that ban before the election in March.

    “No amount of exposure to cigarette smoke is safe and it is time to protect workers, drinkers and diners outside of pubs and clubs, as well as those inside.

    “Studies have shown that smoke-free policies cause a decline in heart disease, increase quitting among smokers and reduce tobacco use among youth.

    “In addition, evidence disproves the line often used as a scare tactic that this measure will cost jobs, with evidence showing that the introduction of smoke free policies actually results in a net increase in patronage.

    “We believe that South Australians should be able to enjoy alfresco areas without putting their health at risk from second hand smoke.”

    Anyone wanting advice on how to quit smoking should call the Quitline on 13 7848 or visit www.quitsa.org.au.

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